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7 posts

Wannabe Geek

#272304 18-Jun-2020 17:58
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I started weight training a little over 18 months ago and while there have been improvements in physical health as well as muscle size, strength and overall fitness, I haven't seen much of an improvement on the mental side. I've read and heard people say that exercise releases endorphins, lifting weights boosts testosterone, increases self-confidence etc but I'm not seeing any of that. I still seem just as high strung, OCD, impatient, socially awkward and annoyed by minor things as ever-and I'm not even an old man.(Sheldon Cooper is a very relatable character shall we say) I'm in my 30s but I don't feel any more confident that I was when I was skin and bone, although then as now, I'm hardly ever sick. Interestingly, I don't have high blood pressure, it sits around 120-135/80-90 mark


I've tried varying and changing up the workout and work every muscle group, have reduced sugar, but makes no difference. I know there's a school of thought that says 'thats just your personality, getting bigger won't change that' but I just find that at odds with the experiences of others who have become more muscly.


Why don't I feel any better mentally? What am I missing here? What have been the experiences of others on here who get fitter and stronger?







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891 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2507657 18-Jun-2020 18:16
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What works for one person doesn't necessarily for everyone. You just have to find what works for you.

2348 posts

Uber Geek

  #2507658 18-Jun-2020 18:17
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Comedy answer: you haven't proved yourself in battle yet.


Actual answer: You're still the same dude. 


1107 posts

Uber Geek


  #2507677 18-Jun-2020 19:20
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You might want to consider the regularity of the exercise habit (not clear how often you work out) and it appears you could focus more on cardiovascular fitness (eg. jogging or cycling) rather than strength training.

Both of those may have an effect on your mood.

You may also want to consider how you feel about missing your exercise time, this might be an interesting question about its effect on your mood.

92 posts

Master Geek


  #2507686 18-Jun-2020 19:31
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If you have on-going issues with OCD, anxiety, and lack of self-esteem, then I would suggest you need to see a psychologist who specializes in helping folk with OCD, in particular. Although physical fitness will help, you will need additional assistance. There are forums for OCD and similar problems. You are not unique and help and support is available, but you have to search.

718 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2507688 18-Jun-2020 19:32
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I would say one thing is for sure, working out isn't making your situation worse. And you may find after a few years that stopping certainly will have a (negative) impact on your mental side.


I've been working out for a few decades and 18 months is just getting started, always something new to learn and that in itself can be mentally stimulating - especially with Youtube there is so much you can pick up and learn.


It can be helpful if you have a gym partner who can help fire you up or encourage you - also maybe engage with a personal trainer if you think you might need some help with intensity. It can be hard to push past your limits by yourself.


Maybe set some short term and long term goals? Short ones for quick wins, but have some really aspirational workout goals, the kind that seem impossible today, but achievable with long term commitment?



3333 posts

Uber Geek


  #2507772 18-Jun-2020 22:04
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I would say one thing is for sure, working out isn't making your situation worse.



+1. Making a decision to look after yourself through training and diet, and sticking to it over time, it's a positive thing. Keep it up, congratulate yourself on what you have achieved to date ... and try not to beat yourself up, life's a jouney. 

4593 posts

Uber Geek


  #2507785 18-Jun-2020 22:48
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I've seen a psychologist for the first time in my life at the age of 30.

I had different stuff from you to work out. But dam it's good talking to a pro.

Edit: for me, the gym is the quick fix to feel good during the day - not the long term solution.


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Uber Geek

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  #2507801 18-Jun-2020 23:28
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You are not alone. I have never found exercise particularly pleasant; as a child, I spent a huge amount of time engineering ways to avoid getting involved in team sports at school because I detested them. As an adult, all this guff about endorphins when you run etc - no chance. Hated every step.




I climbed mountains and did a lot of hill walking - which I enjoyed but still found unpleasant on occasion. I have cycled all my life on and off - but recreationally not at all competitively. I have not a competitive bone in my body really. Who care who wins - it only matters in war.




I did however discover that I had a bicuspid aortic valve that was replaced as part of some emergency surgery. Things improved a bit after that - my "asthma" vanished completely, for example. It was a symptom of the valve deficiency.




I am not for a moment suggesting that you have such a problem - Occam's razor applies...except when it doesn't. Might be worth a medical exam if you have the inclination.




My wife says I am Sheldon, so I know what you mean. That is just what you are - you won't change your personality with exercise or therapy (except maybe the sort where they put wood in your mouth and connect electrodes...!) so that you just have to accept as what the universe gave you and adapt.


11635 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2507806 18-Jun-2020 23:45
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BiffTannen: Why don't I feel any better mentally? What am I missing here?

Tinder profile with abdominal photographs ? ; ).

2348 posts

Uber Geek

  #2507848 19-Jun-2020 08:28
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BiffTannen: Why don't I feel any better mentally? What am I missing here?

Tinder profile with abdominal photographs ? ; ).


Mandatory Kiwi Tinder profile is:


Gym selfie


Photo with ex poorly blurred out


Photo with stag


Photo with kingfish


Photo with 4WD 


Allow me to be a bit more constructive here though. If you're were a naturally organised, very driven person outside of your personal fitness stuff, then you probably haven't had to build the same discipline that many other people have to when they embark on a fitness regime. I've found people's experiences with bulking up to be vastly different from that of bigger guys who get leaner and I suspect this is part of it. 

4749 posts

Uber Geek


  #2507863 19-Jun-2020 09:03
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One of the problems with weights is that you're probably doing it indoors in quite a dull environment.


I am into running and the fitness aspect is great, but what's even better is the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment around local hills and walking trails.


I'm not necessarily suggesting that you take up running because it's not for everyone, but maybe just give something else a go for a bit of variety? 

700 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2507895 19-Jun-2020 09:40
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My personal experience... Worked out at a gym with weights and HIIT sessions and smashing - absolutely smashing - my body into complete exhaustion 4 to 5 days a week just to get that endorphin high. By doing this I was hoping to improve my mental and physical state after many years of neglect. While the body certainly improved, the mental side didn't; in fact it got worse. In the end I quit the gym to focus on my mental health, saw specialists and medication. Fast forward to 2 years ago and I decided to take up running as a supplement to my counselling sessions and meds. SOmething about running just 'clicked' with me and I found it helped me so much more mentally than the gym ever could. Getting out in nature (I run trails mainly) either by myself or with like minded individuals really resonated with much so I'm looking at running my first 100km event next year, fingers crossed.


Basically, that was just a long winded way of saying that each person is different and you shouldn't expect that what worked for some people will work for you. Find your happy place, what fills your cup of happiness (to use a cringeworthy Insta quote) and what clicks with you. If this means going out and trying different things, by all means do so. Don't be to adverse to getting professional help too. That helped me soo much to build the structures and plans I use to manage the negatives.


As others have said, it may just be who you are as a person which isn't a good or bad just is what it is. If this is the case, you must be willing, and able, to change as well as have the fortitude to follow through. Good luck with whatever you decide.

2289 posts

Uber Geek

  #2507906 19-Jun-2020 10:02
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I dont think getting fitter & stronger is the total fix for your state of mental wellbeing .
Lifting Weights initially made me slightly more agrro (not much , but I noticed it) , that did go away after a while though.
You really need to address why you dont fell right , getting fit & strong might help slightly but I dont think its a fix .


Something as simple as sitting outside in the sun with a coffee & a book(or magazine) for a hour or 2  is something that makes me feel better than getting fit, hobbies, bike rides etc
I really miss that in the rainy winter days .


A few years back I used to take a 30minute walk every lunchtime at work . That really made the days work better , it effectively split the day at work into two seaparete 4 hour shifts rather rather 8 hours long .

34 posts


  #2510146 23-Jun-2020 06:07
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Even professional rugby players can get lows, and they exercise daily to be in top shape.

Perhaps not the best example, but I did date a pro bodybuilder once. We hit it off at first, but I noticed he had some issues personality wise, and was extremely self-conscious about his appearance to the point he got aggro about minor things I did, like not using body wash one day in addition to showering. He was not fully confident about himself despite being in top shape, when he wasn't competing.

Perhaps it isn't exercise that is required for confidence building in your case? Though as others have said it could help. I am really shy, and took some public speaking classes, and though still not extremely outgoing, it gave me a place to grow my inter-personal skills and be more confident.

A lot of options to grow confidence, though maybe you need a hobby you are interested in outside of gym that gets you in regular contact with other people more than just trading fitness tips or the occasional day out with gym buddies?

Mad Scientist
22927 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2510169 23-Jun-2020 07:11
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see a psychologist (NOT a psychiatrist)

Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

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